by Ron Clarkson

The Story of the Unprodigal Son
Igniting the Flame of Compassion
Ron Clarkson

WELCOME: This morning we begin our Easter Series - "Celebration of Hope" with a message entitled IGNITING THE FLAME OF COMPASSION. Next week we will have our Palm Sunday Service and then during Easter week we will have our Good Friday Service and two Easter Services. I hope you will plan to share all of these special days with us here at OCC.

PRAYER: Father, at Easter time our minds can be filled with so many different thoughts and events. We think of the holiday, the vacation time, the fun time with children, the eggs, the Easter bunny, the sales . . . but Father this morning and for the next few weeks we want to focus. We want to focus on Easter as much more than all of this, we want to focus on Easter as a time of hope, a celebration of hope. A hope we can have because of what you have done for us Father. And this morning we want to focus on our role in this celebration of hope. How you, Father, have chosen each of us sitting here this morning, to partake in that hope, to be a part of that hope, to be a channel of hope to others.

OPENING JOKE: I remember my childhood days, days of frolicking in the fields, peacefully coexisting with my brothers, usually spending time just reading together, praying together and just really enjoying each others' adolescent company, sharing those intimate sibling life experiences. Maybe your childhood days were like that, but with 5 boys in our family our growing up years were more like the little rascals than the Cleavers. Like the time brother Rick and his friend hoisted brother Rod up a tree by a rope and then let the rope go, brother Rod plummeting to a broken arm, or when brother Rod was playing target practice with brother Rick. Rod was throwing a knife up in the air as high as he could and then hoped it would stick when it came down, and it did, right in the meddle of Rick's back. Or the time when Rick and Randy were playing Roy Rogers a ...

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